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So Mad I Could Spit Nickels

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Juice in Genoa, New York, remembers her mother used to say I am so mad I could spit nickels. It’s one of several variations on the idea of being angry enough to spit, period, or to spit something specific, such as spit tacks, spit nails, spit rust. Other examples: I could chew nails, I could spit rivets, I could spit blood, I could spit ten feet. When Australians are thirsty, they sometimes say, I’m so thirsty I could spit chips, or I’m so thirsty I could spit cotton. Juice also wonders about the phrase head over tin cups to describe someone taking a tumble. Other versions (which we also talked about here) include head over heels, rump over teakettle, head over teacups, ass over appetite, ass over elbow, and head over apple cart. A somewhat similar idea is expressed in the idea of going full scorpion, when you fall face first and your legs go back up over your head so that your body mimics a scorpion’s shape. This is part of a complete episode.

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